As of Wednesday evening, I finished my first Whole30! The reason I say “first” is because it was such a great experience, I plan to do it again. I learned a lot throughout this past month. I’m going to summarize my lessons and triumphs in this post, and I hope they are helpful to anyone that decides to follow suit! Overall, you can see my progress on Pounds and Inches (between mid-July and now). I definitely lost some pounds and inches while doing this!
1. BE PREPARED!: There were a few times that I had to resort to making scrambled eggs for dinner. I do love eggs, but I also have my limit 🙂 Cooking a big batch of food over the weekend and throwing it in the freezer is the best bet for preparation and to avoid temptation!
2. Ask questions: While I did try to prepare my meals at home the majority of the time, there were some instances where I ate out in restaurants. I always hoped that dishes would be perfectly described on the menu, but typically they were not. I hated having to basically ask exactly how restaurants made certain dishes. Typically, I’m not very particular with food, so I felt like I was probably perceived as being very nit-picky. Then I realized that I’m doing this for ME. It’s my health, and the only person that will really lose out is myself. Before I ordered, I tried to ensure that there was no added sugar in dishes, and I always asked them to use olive oil for cooking. Another question I typically asked is if they used any cream in the preparation. I’m really glad I asked what was necessary because not only did it keep me Whole30 compliant, but it was also a great reminder that I’m doing this for my own well-being.
3. Hydrate!: I saw the least difference week-to-week when I was not drinking enough water throughout the day. When I drank water, I was more full, and I noticed more loss on my body.
4. A Natural Glow: A huge benefit from my Whole30 experience was how great my skin looked! I’m really not trying to boast here, but it was easy to see the difference. It looks brighter, healthier, and I had less blemishes. Even if I forgot to wash my face at night (unfortunately, I’m guilty of this every now and then), it was still nice in the morning! I even left the house a few times with no makeup, and I didn’t feel as “undone” as I had in the past.
5. Well-rested: I don’t really have trouble sleeping, however, I do typically wake up a couple times in the middle of the night and fall back to sleep. In the past month, I truly felt that my sleep was very deep. If I did get up in the middle of the night, it was usually after 4 am. In the past, it happened a couple times between 1am and 3am. The deep sleep did make it hard to wake up when I had to though. BUT I did end up having…
6. More Energy!: Once I dragged myself out of bed, I really felt like I had more energy throughout the day. In turn, this increased my productivity and improved my mood. I was also less irritable. I really believe this was because I was putting whole foods into my body.
7. Confidence: I really stuck to this program. I thought people would perceive me as being extreme or picky because I was doing this. The funny thing is, many people commended me for my commitment! I really think that I set a good example for myself, and, in turn, it positively affected others. I’m really grateful to whoever cooked me dinner in the past month and was kind enough to listen and comply with my requests. I felt so confident about my ability to really stick to a plan at the end. I always found a way to “cheat” with other diets or plans. This really put my body AND mind to a test, and it only helped me.
As of now, I am starting to introduce non-Whole30 foods back into my diet ONE food group at a time with the rest of my diet staying Whole30 compliant (so when I am done trying dairy, I will stop having dairy and try the next food group). The point of this is to see how each group isolated makes me feel (Do I get a headache? Do I feel congested? Does it feel like my stomach is about to explode?). For Days 1-3, I am re-introducing dairy, I plan on adhering to it for the most part with a few treats scattered about. In accordance with ISWF, I have been introducing certain food groups back into my diet to see how it affects me. On days 4-6, I will have gluten-containin grains such as pasta and bread. Days 7-9 I will have non-gluten rains including rice and tortilla chips. Days 10-12 I will have legumes including peanut butter, tofu, and beans. This is merely an experiment to see if one food group affects me more than others. I’m looking forward to what I will discover through these little experiments.
The best part about this whole experience is that (1) I want to do it again (2) I felt so great that I plan to keep eating this way with a few “slips” here and there (3) I DID IT!